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Driver Charged in Connection with Fatal Wisconsin Car Accident

by Keith Adkins | August 23rd, 2012

Aug. 23, 2012

A 20-year-old Wisconsin man is facing charges in connection with a car accident that claimed the life of a young man and left himself and three other individuals seriously injured. The Oconto Times Herald reports the crash happened on June 15, just before 1 a.m. on Oak Orchard Road, just east of Abrams, Wisconsin.

Reports from the Oconto County Sheriff’s Department indicate the driver of a Toyota Scion was traveling at speeds in excess of 120 mph along the road when he suddenly lost control of the vehicle, spun out, and hit a ditch. Three passengers in the vehicle, a 17-year-old male along with two teenage girls, were ejected from the vehicle due to the force of the Appleton Car Accident.

The three backseat passengers were airlifted to local hospitals, where the two girls remain in critical condition and the young man died shortly after arrival. A male front seat passenger in the vehicle suffered minor injuries.

The driver was charged with one count of reckless homicide and three counts of reckless injury. He is expected back in court in early September to answer the charges.

The Appleton Personal Injury Lawyers with Sigman, Janssen, Stack, Sewall & Pitz understand how devastating an injury caused by another person’s negligence can be, and they encourage anyone who has been injured in an accident caused by a careless driver to explore their legal options.

Many Employers Fail to See Serious Penalties for Safety Violations

by Keith Adkins | August 16th, 2012

Aug. 16, 2012

Workers depend on the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to ensure employers provide safe work environments. However, according to an article from the Post Crescent, Wisconsin businesses that commit safety infractions are rarely fined and, when they are, the penalty is often lessened through settlements.

OSHA data shows that, of the 240 workplace accidents in Wisconsin throughout the past 11 years, only 184 cases resulted in fines. In cases where fines were issued, employers paid an average of $4,200.

After three welders were killed in 2008 after a storage tank explosion in Tomahawk, Wisconsin, their employer paid less than $23,000 in fines. Reports indicate the company had failed to properly check for explosive gases before work began, resulting in four serious violations of safety law.

Earlier this week, another worker was killed in a similar explosion at the same facility.

Laws pertaining to Wisconsin Workers’ Compensation forbid families from filing wrongful death lawsuits when a person dies on the job. This means the family of a worker who dies on the job may receive as little as $20,000 in benefits.

The Appleton Personal Injury Lawyers with Sigman, Janssen, Sewall, Stack & Pitz understand how frustrating a work-related injury can be, and they are always available to answer any questions an injured worker has regarding their legal rights.

Study Finds Increased Number of Americans Receiving Social Security Disability

by Keith Adkins | August 9th, 2012

Aug. 9, 2012

A new study that was recently conducted by the Congressional Budget Office found that there has been a surge in the number of applicants for Social Security Disability benefits in recent years. According to the Huffington Post, from 1996 to 2009, the rate for disabled workers rose from 67 percent to 76 percent; there are now roughly 8.3 million Americans who are unable to work due to physical and mental disabilities.

Experts cite a number of factors behind the increase. While the majority of the growth can be blamed on a poor economy and an aging population, changes to the law in the 1980s also played a large role. The Reagan Administration created a set of rules allowing more individuals with mental and musculoskeletal disabilities to qualify for benefits.

While many believe the increase shows that it may be easier than ever to qualify for benefits, many who are in need beg to differ. Many applicants fail to receive benefits after first applying, and continue to appeal years after initially applying.

The Appleton Personal Injury Lawyers with Sigman, Janssen, Stack, Sewall & Pitz understand just how difficult and confusing the process of applying for social security benefits can be. That is why the firm suggests taking your case to an experienced attorney if you are unable to work and you believe you may qualify for benefits.

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